It’s amazing how much life can change in a matter of a few years.
…..in a matter of a few months.
…..in a matter of a few weeks.
…..in a matter of a few days.
…..in a matter of a few hours.
…..in a matter of a few minutes.
…..or even in a matter of a few short seconds.
Let us review: Why did we halt our adoption?
The simplest answer is because we cannot afford to pursue adoption and surrogacy at once.
*For more on why we before 3 weeks ago we never dreamed surrogacy would be an option, and how we were both finally at peace with moving forward with our adoption plans, please see Part 1.
*For more on the Facebook message I received 3 weeks ago from practically a perfect stranger that would rock anyone’s world, please see Part 2.
*For more on our surprisingly spirited 1st reaction to that message, please see Part 3.
*For more on the questions we both had, and the emotional struggle I went through, once the surrogacy option was presented to us, please see Part 4.
*For more on the initial, God-filled meeting I had with the woman who strongly felt God may very well be calling her to be our surrogate, please see Part 5.
*For more on the extremely disheartening news we received the day after I met with the woman who appeared to be an angel sent by God to carry our biological child, please see Part 6.
*For more on the strange, but strong, intuition I was feeling just a little over a week after our dream of surrogacy seemed to be slipping from our hands, please see Part 7.
*For more on all the signs that just weren’t going away and ultimately pointing to my intuition being most likely true, please see Part 8.
*For more on the dramatic turn of events that took place one early morning, please see Part 9.
*For more on the painful drive, and then wait at the hospital, I endured while waiting to hear if my intuition was true, please see Part 10.
*For more on the internal conflict I felt when I found out my intuition was wrong, please see Part 11.
It was almost time.
It was almost time to move far, far away from the past week or so of my life. It was almost time to stop the madness and ignore every part of me that “swore” I was pregnant and now miscarrying. It was almost time to forsake every part that couldn’t accept the truth and was now seeking a 2nd opinion because “God” told me to get it. It was almost time to make a pact with myself to never, ever let myself get this way again. It was almost time for my torment to end, one way or the other. It was thankfully almost time.
I walked into the doctor’s office with a game plan. As I said before, I told myself that no matter what she said, I had to walk out of the office believing it. If she said I was never pregnant, as the rational part of me suspected she would, I had to move on. I had to move on for my good, the good of our marriage, and the good of our future children, however they were going to come into the world. I had to let it go. After all the stress of the past month, I desperately needed – and wanted – to get emotionally healthy again.
I desperately needed to get back to a place where I was myself again. In that moment, though, driving to my second doctor’s appointment in 24 hours, that place of serenity seemed so far, far away – almost like a mirage in a very, very dry desert.
After the longest month (in particular day) of my life, I knew if I didn’t find the sanity for which my soul longed – and soon – I was going to be in a heap of trouble. I wasn’t sure if I’d ever recover, to be honest. As one who finds great comfort in the ability to not only be in touch with my emotions, but also being able to articulate extremely well to myself – and to others – exactly how I am feeling, I wanted nothing to do with the conflicted soul I had become. I wanted nothing to do with the person who was so afraid she was insane, and consequently didn’t want others to whom she was close coming to the same conclusion, that she was telling them that it was now my transplant team’s idea that I may have indeed had a miscarriage, when it was my conviction – and solely mine – all along. It was my decision – and solely mine to seek out a second opinion, because after all, part of me felt God had made it very clear that was what I needed to do.
It was the same dreaded cycle over and over again, hour after hour: one minute I felt like “God” was speaking to me, and the next I felt I needed serious mental help for ever thinking that way. “Tortured” doesn’t begin to describe my emotional state during the previous 24 hours. If the past month wasn’t traumatic enough for me, the past day had driven me dangerously close to the edge of an emotional and mental breakdown…or maybe I was already deep in the bottomless pit of despair and further gone than I thought.
I wasn’t in a good place, but I knew the end was just minutes away.
I had arrived and checked-in.
The wait to be called back seemed like a lifetime…and then some.
Finally, my name was called.
It was time – again.
I followed the nurse who had called my name, giving myself a pep talk the whole way back.
“OK, Amber. Once you get in there, you’re going to go through everything in detail. She’s going to listen, tell you what you already know, and then you can leave. This time, though, you’re going to leave actually accepting what you’ve been told. You’re going to go work and forget all of this. Got it? Good. Let’s go.”
The friendly nurse took my vitals in one room, and then proceeded to lead me to an exam room in the back.
I wasn’t prepared for what happened next.
Without any hesitation in her voice, the nurse calmly said, “OK, here’s your cup and your gown. Go to the bathroom; you know what to do with the cup. When you’re done, leave it on the toilet, and then put your gown on and go back to your room. I talked to Dr. Sharp, and she is going to want to do a pelvic exam.”
“Wait. A pelvic exam? I’m just here to talk,” I said to myself.
I was startled, to say the least.
There was no time to argue, though.
An empty cup and a drafty gown were waiting for me.
I followed the nurse’s instructions, returned to my room, and waited for the only one on earth who could save me from myself, my doctor. My socked feet hanging off the exam table weren’t the only thing dangling at that point. As minutes passed, I felt my grip on my sanity loosening, too. Thankfully, Dr. Sharp didn’t take too long to come in to get our pow-wow started. As she took her place, I found peace in the fact that I was just a few more minutes away from the past week-and-a-half of my life, and the emotional torture with which it came, to be forgotten. Forever.
“OK, let’s start at the beginning,” she comfortingly said.
It took only five minutes or so to walk her back through the past week-and-a-half of my life. I candidly spoke with her about the intuition I’d had for days that I just couldn’t shake, the signs (all of them, in order) that only made me more strongly believe I had indeed been pregnant, the pain I had experienced just yesterday morning that led me to believe I was either miscarrying or the baby was in trouble, the first doctor’s appointment I had which , after having a HCG blood test, ended with me being told I had never been pregnant after all, and the strong, internal conflict I had been feeling since. As I re-told the story, I left no stone unturned. I had to get it all out, to force myself to hear myself say it all again, to force myself to hear someone else tell me – once again – what I was already told before. It was time to accept the inevitable. It was time to move on, once and for all.
As I waited for her to process all I had just told her, and consequently formulate a comforting-yet-firm rebuttal to my argument (much like what I had been given the day before), I prepared myself for what life looked like when I walked out, for how I was going to get passed all of this, for how I was going to forgive myself in time for letting myself go this far.
During those seconds of waiting, I swore to myself that once I (once again) heard the truth, and the door to that office closed behind me, the door to all of this would be closed – for good – too. I reminded myself I had to go back to focusing on the real options (adoption and surrogacy) before us on our difficult, ever-changing journey toward parenthood. We were already going through a hard enough season in our lives without me adding to it. No, no matter how “sure” I felt “God” was telling me otherwise, it was over. There was simply no time, or emotional energy, left to focus on a child who was merely a figment of my imagination.
Once a few seconds had passed, and I was done with my second internal pep talk since I had arrived, I focused my attention back to Dr. Sharp. As she hesitated to speak, her earth-shattering, yet much-needed answer was written as clear as day all over her face.
Before she even uttered a word, I knew.
“Based on all your symptoms, and my experience, I’m pretty confident you actually did have a miscarriage…”
She kept talking, but I couldn’t hear a word. Part 13 to come.